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Record 23072

Reading Experience:

ms journal of Sophia de C-, one of the ladies of the Visiting Society for Newgate, entry dated 1 May 1817: 'Most of the prisoners were collected in a room newly appointed for the purpose to hear a portion of the Sacred Scriptures read to them, either by the matron, or by one of the Ladies' Committee; which last is far preferrable ... I think I can never forget the impression made upon my feelings at this sight. Women from every part of Great Britain; of every age and condition, below the lower-middle rank; were assembled in mute silence, except when the interrupted breathing of their suckling infants informed us of the unhealthy state of these innocent partakers in their parents' punishment. The matron read; I could not refrain from tears; the women wept also; several were under the sentence of death. Swain for forging, who had just received her respite, sat next to me; and on my left hand sat Lawrence, alias Woodman, surrounded by her four children, and only waiting the birth of another, which she hourly expects, to pay the forfeit of her life, as her husband had done for the same crime a short time before'
Century: 1800-1849
Date: 1 May 1817
Country: England
Time: daytime
Place: city: London
specific address: Newgate Gaol
other location: prison
Type of Experience (Reader):
silent aloud unknown
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown
Type of Experience (Listener):
passive reactive unknown
single serial unknown

Reader/Listener/Reading Group:

Reader: anon
Age Adult (18-100+)
Gender Female
Date of Birth n/a
Socio-economic group: Clerk / tradesman / artisan / smallholder
Occupation: matron, women's prison, Newgate
Religion: unknown
Country of origin: unknown
Country of experience: England
Listeners present if any:
(e.g. family, servants, friends, workmates)
female prisoners and lady prison visitor
Additional comments: n/a


Text Being Read:

Author: [n/a]
Title: Bible
Genre: Bible
Form of Text: Print: Book
Publication details: n/a
Provenance: owned


Source Information:

Record ID: 23072  
Source - Print  
  Author: Elizabeth Fry
  Editor: Katharine Fry
  Title: Memoir of Elizabeth Fry, with extracts from her Journal and letters, edited by two of her daughters
  Place of Publication: London
  Date of Publication: 1847
  Vol: 1
  Page: 274
  Additional comments: n/a

Citation: Elizabeth Fry, Katharine Fry (ed.), Memoir of Elizabeth Fry, with extracts from her Journal and letters, edited by two of her daughters (London, 1847), 1, p. 274,, accessed: 19 February 2020

Additional comments:



Reading Experience Database version 2.0.  Page updated: 27th Apr 2016  3:15pm (GMT)